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Coalition for Energy Savings tells European Commission to quantify energy saving benefit

The European Commission needs to put a value on all the benefits of energy savings if it is to fulfill its pledge of putting energy efficiency on an equal policy footing with generation, a coalition of industry and NGOs have argued. Implementing the ‘energy efficiency first’ principle enshrined in the energy union strategy requires the EU to end its bias towards prioritizing increasing energy supply over savings in its energy decision-making, the Coalition for Energy Savings argued in a paper published on 6 May.

The position paper “Energy Efficiency First: How to make it happen” argues that a rigorous energy saving agenda has the potential to increase energy security and lower fuel demand projections if energy saving potentials and cost effective options are used.

The European Parliament’s industry and energy committee voted on 7 May to endorse the principle of energy efficiency first. It called on the Commission and member states to ensure that energy efficiency is treated as an energy source in its own right as part of a position it adopted on energy security.

Prioritising energy efficiency “should be about considering all of its costs and benefits”, including economic, social and environmental benefits, not just fossil fuel import savings, the Coalition for Energy Savings’ Stefan Scheuer said.

Such long-term benefits have not been sufficiently taken into account in the methodology the EU currently assesses the impacts of its climate and energy legislation, he said as he presented the paper at an event in Brussels.

The paper calls on lawmakers to use the review of the Energy Efficiency Directive next year to raise the 27% energy efficiency target agreed by EU leaders for 2030 using a more accurate assessment of the cost-effective savings potential. It also urges the Commission to crack down on member states failing to properly implement existing energy efficiency legislation.

Energy efficiency improvements should be considered first in all policy and investment decisions in the energy system where they provide greater public value or are more cost-effective than projects increasing energy supply, according to the Coalition.


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Issue 42